how to knit an i-cord on top of a hat

Adding an I-cord to the top of a knitted hat is a decorative and functional way to finish the hat. It can help keep the hat snug on your head and adds a polished look. Here’s how to knit an I-cord on top of a hat:

Materials You’ll Need:

  • Completed knitted hat
  • Double-pointed knitting needles (DPNs) in the same size as your main knitting needles
  • Yarn in the same color as your hat


  1. Prepare Your Needles:
    • You’ll need three double-pointed needles (DPNs) for this project. If your hat is still on circular needles, transfer the stitches onto three DPNs. Arrange the stitches so that two-thirds are on one needle, and one-third is evenly divided between the other two needles.
  2. Join the Yarn:
    • Leave a tail of about 6 inches (15 cm) for weaving in later. Join the yarn to the first stitch on the first DPN as if you were going to knit a regular stitch. You can do this by simply starting to knit with the new yarn.
  3. Knit the I-cord:
    • Knit all the stitches on the first DPN.
    • Without turning your work, slide the stitches to the other end of the needle. Now, your working yarn should be coming from the left side of the needle.
    • Knit the stitches on the second DPN.
  4. Repeat:
    • Continue sliding the stitches back and forth between the two needles and knitting them until your I-cord is the desired length. Usually, 3-4 inches (7.5-10 cm) is sufficient for a hat topper, but you can adjust as you like.
  5. Bind Off:
    • When the I-cord is the length you want, bind off the stitches. To do this, knit the first two stitches together, then insert your left needle into the first stitch on the right needle and lift it over the second stitch. Continue this process until you have only one stitch left on your right needle. Cut the yarn, leaving a tail of a few inches, and thread it through the last stitch.
  6. Weave in Ends:
    • Use a yarn needle to weave in the tails of both the beginning and ending yarn. Make sure they’re secure and hidden within the I-cord.
  7. Secure the I-cord to the Hat:
    • If your hat has a pom-pom or another decoration on top, sew the I-cord underneath it for a neat finish. You can also secure it with a few stitches on the inside of the hat to hold it in place.

That’s it! You’ve successfully added an I-cord to the top of your hat. This technique not only looks great but also adds a functional element to help keep the hat snug on your head.

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